Sponsorship: Why it should be part of your 2014 marketing strategy

Character and personality are not adjectives often used to describe financial services, but Caxton FX has always broken that trend. For me, Caxton FX sponsorship of British Skier Chemmy Alcott made perfect sense. Asides from the fact that she is a perfect figure for targeting the ski market, as our brand ambassador Chemmys story aligned perfectly with ours.

We are a medium sized British business that set out to value our customers, to give them another choice from their banks despite a lack of support. Chemmy has also been faced with adversity in pursuit of her dream. What better way to be a personable brand than to build a link in customer minds between us and a character they relate to.

1. Enhancing brand image

Companies are often looking to improve how they are perceived by their target audience, or to try and promote their brand story. Sponsoring events or a sporting figure that appeals to your market will help to shape buying attitudes and help generate a positive outlook. Coca Cola, for example, is always looking to generate a positive influence of their products in the minds of their consumers and as such regularly support events they feel can influence consumer opinions.

2. Driving sales

Sponsorship geared to driving sales can be an extremely potent promotional tool. This objective allows sponsors to showcase their product attributes. Food and beverage companies often use sponsorship to encourage samplings and sales.
IEG’s Complete Guide to Sponsorship cites Visa’s fund-raising effort around its sponsorship of the Olympic Games and the U.S. Olympic Team. They promoted their association by offering to make a donation to the team each time consumers charge a purchase to their card.

3. Creating positive publicity/heightening visibility

Every sponsor is seeking wide exposure in the media. Positive publicity helps create heightened visibility of products or services. If you have chosen your sponsorship wisely, media covering the event or the person has the opportunity to include your companies’ name – which is often media coverage that might otherwise not have been available.

With the run up to Sochi Olympics Chemmy has been getting coverage in newspaper sport sections; an area that is not applicable to Caxton FX – but because we are one of her main sponsors, and our logo has a prime spot on her Ski Suit, we are getting noticed by a reading audience that we would not typically connect with.

4. Investment – short term vs long term

Sponsorship is flexible; you can negotiate how long you want the contract to last depending on your company vision and your financial situation. However, if you want to promote your brand and push your services/product out there – then you need to look at it as a long term investment. Before sponsoring, the sponsor must feel sure that the event/person will be successful; has a proven track record, good prospects and generally be aligned with the sponsor’s brand and business objectives. If these are met, considering sponsorship as part of your long term marketing strategy will boost your company profile in 2014.

Rupert Lee-Browne is CEO and founder of Caxton FX.

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